- Be wary of fraudulent social media pleas, calls, texts, websites, and door-to-door solicitations for donations to charities.
- Do some research online about the charity.
- Be careful how you pay.
- Keep scammers’ tricks in mind.
Read more: How to Donate Wisely and Avoid Charity Scams
- Use caution when browsing the internet, shopping online, and using email.
- Keep your computer and web browser up-to-date on patches.
- Purchase from reputable sites — only shop on sites with HTTPS in the URL.
- Be careful of shopping links in unsolicited email messages.
Read more: US Computer Emergency Readiness Team’s shopping online article
- Be aware of “Utility Scams.”
In this scam, someone scares you by calling or coming by your house and saying that your power or other utilities will be cut off unless you pay. The caller will often pressure you to pay immediately by using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
Never give your personal or banking information to an unverified or unsolicited caller.
Never allow anyone into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification before letting them enter.
- Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails.
Read more: Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
Think you are a victim of a scam?
If you believe you are a victim of a scam or malware campaign, consider the following actions:
- Contact your financial institution immediately and close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplainable charges to your account. For more information, see Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft.
- Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. Avoid reusing passwords. See Choosing and Protecting Passwords for more information.
- Report the attack to the police and file reports with the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.